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Internet research for assignments

This guide discusses when it is appropriate to use the internet for an assignment or research, and provides some tips for making the most out of your internet searches.

Evaluating websites

The CRAP test

The CRAP Test is a tool you can use to determine if a website is a credible and valid source. The CRAP Test looks at four major areas in order to evaluate a website: currency, reliability, authority and purpose. It is important to look at each of these areas when deciding whether to rely on or use the information you find.

Evaluate

Once you find a resource, how do you know if it is useful for the research you are conducting? You could read/watch/listen to it, but you could save time by first testing the resource against the CRAP test. The CRAP test is a set of 4 criteria you can quickly measure a resource against to see whether it is worth engaging with further.

Currency

Is this the most up to date resource you can find? Is it new enough for the purposes of your topic?

Relevance

Is the material relevant to your topic and your arguments?

Authority

Who is the author? Are they a credible source? Are they qualified to talk about this subject? Are arguments backed up with evidence (such as references or citations)?

Purpose

What is the purpose of the resource? E.g. Is it designed to sell, entertain, vent, educate, present research?